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Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I tell my best friend that his on-court tantrums won’t fly at my tennis club?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Enter at my Own Risk

(Image: Musée McCord Museum)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I’m the head of my tennis club’s membership committee, and my best friend is angling to get in. Unfortunately, his tantrums make ’80s-era John McEnroe seem like a cooing turtledove by comparison. If I allow him in, I risk being ostracized by the club. If I turn him down, I fear it may end of our friendship. What should I do?
—Enter at My Own Risk, High Park

Since you’re his best friend, it falls to you to dish out some Dr. Phil–calibre emotional honesty. Tell him you’re worried his antics might reflect poorly on you. He might understand and dial down the racquet-smashing routine. If you fear he’ll Hulk out on you, there’s always the less lion-hearted approach: invite him to apply, say you’ll do your best, mumble something about a “blasted new review board” and direct the form to the circular file. After a few weeks without response, he’ll take the hint or lose interest, leaving you with your best friend and your job.

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